© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

A House in Three Buildings // Nikos Smyrlis Architect

The house is set on a hillside to the north …

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The house is set on a hillside to the north of Varkiza 700 meters from the sea. To the south-southeast stretches the southern part of the Saronic golf while to the north and to the west rise the southern borders of Mt. Hymmetus. The surrounding area, comprising some wooded parts, is relatively sparsely built.

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

The house is analyzed into three buildings, each one of them having a different function. A central building housing the sitting room, the kitchen, the dining-room and the library to the north, a building containing the bedrooms; to the south, a guest-house. At a purely functional level, this breaking-down allows for a better isolation of the different activities and it protects the privacy of the residents.

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

The disposition of the buildings with regard to the entrance reflects the function and importance of each one of them. The central building, facing the entrance, acquires increased weight while, from the same position, only the short side of the building containing the bedrooms is visible. In this way, the gaze of the person entering the house focuses on the central building and on the square intervening between it and the guesthouse, the latter being visible at the background.

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

The positioning of the buildings at different angles defines multiple visual trajectories. Moreover, the angles created by the axes of the buildings emphasize the perspective of the intervening spaces. The symmetry of the structures and the morphological independence of the buildings enhance these phenomena. At the same time, the breaking-down of the house into different buildings confers increased importance to the exterior spaces of stay and movement, which in this way become a composing element of the residence.

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

Between the building at the center, the guesthouse and the pool, is created a square with a view to the sea that combines the functions of an open-air sitting room and dining room. The communication between the buildings is carried out to a large extent under the open sky, through corridors that traverse or surround the central building.

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

With openings to the four points of the horizon, this building functions both as a communication junction and as a meeting-point. An inclined corridor leads from the main entrance to the central building from where one can reach the other buildings. Indeed, the axis north – south, connecting the bedrooms with the square and the guesthouse, passes through the central building.

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

The building complex is inspired by the idea of the creation of a private residence using proportions and materials that belong to the vocabulary of the public, monumental architecture..

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

© Nikos Smyrlis Architect

A House in Three Buildings Gallery

© Studio Saxe

Gardenia // Studio Saxe

San José, Costa Rica

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